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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The New York Times > AP > National > Kerry Accuses Bush of Incompetence on Iraq

The New York Times > AP > National > Kerry Accuses Bush of Incompetence on Iraq: "September 21, 2004
Kerry Accuses Bush of Incompetence on Iraq

Filed at 8:10 a.m. ET
NEW YORK (AP) -- Staking out new ground on Iraq, Sen. John Kerry said Monday he would not have overthrown Saddam Hussein had he been in the White House, and he accused President Bush of ``stubborn incompetence,'' dishonesty and colossal failures of judgment. Bush said Kerry was flip-flopping.
Less than two years after voting to give Bush authority to invade Iraq, the Democratic candidate said the president had misused that power by rushing to war without the backing of allies, a post-war plan or proper equipment for U.S. troops. ``None of which I would have done,'' Kerry said.
``Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator who deserves his own special place in hell,'' he added. ``But that was not, in itself, a reason to go to war. The satisfaction we take in his downfall does not hide this fact: We have traded a dictator for a chaos that has left America less secure.''
Bush hit back from a campaign rally in New Hampshire, interpreting Kerry's comment to mean the Democrat believes U.S. security would be better with Saddam still in power. ``He's saying he prefers the stability of a dictatorship to the hope and security of democracy,'' the Republican incumbent said.
``Today, my opponent continued his pattern of twisting in the wind,'' Bush said. ``He apparently woke up this morning and has now decided, No, we should not have invaded Iraq, after just last month saying he would have voted for force even knowing everything we know today.''
Both candidates addressed partisan crowds, drawing cheers and hoots as they stretched each"


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